Irony is one of the most consistently misunderstood terms in the English language. I can't claim that I've always used the word properly myself in the past; in fact, I once had a friend call me out on misusing it in a Facebook comment. I then channeled the extreme pain I felt from that public grammar shaming into an intense study session to learn the true definition of irony.
That study session lasted about three minutes. It also made me hypothesize that one of the reasons for the word's rampant bastardization of this fairly straightforward term is that the true definition is so simple, it seems like it should have a more nuanced meaning. But for the most part, true irony is about as nuanced as a Nickelback song. In case you were wondering, that's totally not nuanced in the slightest bit. Bonus points for working a Nickelback burn into a blog post about English!
I was generally satisfied with knowing the true definition of irony for myself until I read legendary sports announcer Al Michaels’ autobiography. Somehow, despite the stated presence of a Sports Illustrated co-writer (and presumably a grammar-savvy editor of some sort), Michaels repeatedly misuses the word “ironic” when he means “coincidentally" throughout the book.Read More